Politics

Jackson Could Lose $570 Million a Year If Republicans Refuse to Expand Medicaid

Rick Scott and his fellow Tallahassee Republicans' strong opposition to the Affordable Care Act has resulted in the state refusing to allow the federal government to expand Medicaid in Florida.

But their refusal could cause Florida hospitals to miss out on billions in funding, with Miami's cash-strapped Jackson Memorial Hospital in particular losing an estimated $570 million a year.

That's according to a report from non-profit Florida Legal Services.

Because the Affordable Care Act has reduced the amount of people without health insurance, the federal government is gradually paying states less disproportionate share hospital funds. That money is meant to help hospitals, especially public "safety net" hospitals, offset the cost of caring for the uninsured.

Problem is Florida is still left with about 760,000 residents who will not be able to access health insurance even under the ACA.

This gap is meant to be covered by expanding Medicaid eligibility, but Republicans in Tallahassee have refused to allow the feds to spend $5 billion a year to expand the service in the state.

Which basically means Florida's hospitals are screwed, in particular Jackson.

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Kyle Munzenrieder